One of the things I struggle with as a mom is finding enough hours in the day to get everything done. From my work to household chores, I’m constantly trying to prioritize and juggle responsibilities. More often than not, it’s the cleaning, cooking, and laundry that get neglected because, frankly, writing and blogging are just more fun. (And slightly more profitable.)
Always curious about how other moms manage, I’m launching a new series today called AM/PM that will chronicle “a day in the life” of busy mothers, from stay-at-home moms to moms who work full time outside of the home. This column will hopefully provide insight into how all different types of moms balance their responsibilities, while offering reassurance to those of us who constantly feel like we’re dropping the ball (or multiple balls).
My first interview is with Lauren, a wife, mother, stylist, and blogger at The Little Things We Do living in Portland, Oregon. I’m not sure when I first stumbled upon Lauren’s blog, but one of the things I noticed was how much she does. The girl is always writing, as well as working on cool projects that take her to places like Disneyland and the Radio Disney Music Awards. She also has an adorable daughter whose style I envy. (Yes, I envy a toddler’s style.)
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I don’t know how she does it” about another mom, read on!
Q. How old is your daughter and what is her name?
A. Fern – 15 months
Q. What’s your occupation? Do you have the same job that you did before becoming a mom?
A. I am a full-time mama + a blogger at Babble and Disney Baby + a freelance wardrobe/prop stylist. Before becoming a mom, I was a Preschool Teacher and blogged part-time.
A. I wake up at 5:45 and my daughter usually wakes up between 8:00 and 9:00 depending on the day.
Q. What does your morning look like?
A. I wake up with my husband before he leaves for work. I make him a lunch and he makes me a mocha. Then I settle in to write for an hour or two until Fern wakes up. It’s a great time for me to get things done. After Fern wakes up we snuggle in bed for a bit and then get up, get dressed and share breakfast (usually eggs + spinach or a smoothie). After breakfast we squeeze in our outings for the day. We usually have play dates with friends at least once a week and on the other days we’ll go to the park, grocery shopping, or to the gym where Fern hangs out in the childcare. Some days we just do more focused activities at home, but getting out of the house really helps to break up the day and makes me focus on Fern since when I’m out I don’t have the computer sitting there distracting me.
Q. What time do you eat lunch?
A. Around 12:30, though often it’s on the go since we spend our morning running around and don’t usually get back until right before nap time at 1:30.
A. After Fern goes down for her nap I blog some more. Sometimes I’ll sit and have my own lunch at this time – usually around 2:00 — if I didn’t have anything to eat with her earlier. But usually this is the time when I can get any extra things on my to-do or to-blog list done that I didn’t finish in the morning. Fern doesn’t usually wake up from her nap until around 4:00 or 4:30, so we don’t do a whole lot together in the afternoons. We kind of just lay low. Play in the yard or do some puzzles, fit in some after nap snuggles. My husband gets home from work around 5:00 so we hang out and catch up on our days before dinner and other odds and ends that need tying up.
Q. What time do you eat dinner?
A. Fern eats dinner around 6:00 most nights. Some nights if I was prepared enough to cook something in the crock pot or if I started a meal earlier, then we all eat together as a family (usually 3-4 times a week). On other nights, I sit with her while my husband is working on some project or another (most recently he was spending part of his evenings building a chicken coop, and tonight he is coding my blog…always a project going!) and then we eat dinner together after she goes to bed around 8:00.
Q. What does your evening look like?
A. Fern is usually asleep by 8:00, so we’ll have dinner after that if we didn’t earlier, or we’ll cuddle up on the couch and catch up on TV shows together. I try not to blog in the evenings.
Q. What time do you go to bed?
A. We usually go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 and we always go at the same time. It’s our rule.
A. I look most forward to Saturday mornings, because we’re all together with nothing in particular to do. Our Saturdays are always pretty full, but the mornings are perfectly leisurely and we don’t generally do anything of substance before 10:00. We also instituted “French Toast Saturdays” which is one of my favorite things.
Q. How do you de-stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
A. I turn off my computer and read a magazine. It may seem counterintuitive since I’m still taking in media, but for me, there’s just something about feeling the pages and seeing the physical images that calms me down. Also, getting out of the house. When you work from home, your home becomes a little less relaxing than it once was…it’s just kind of the nature of the beast. Home is where you work, so it can be hard to separate. I like to get out and do things to help me disconnect from the digital world and really focus on my friends and family without feeling tied to technology.
Q. What is your dream job?
A. I am living my dream job right now. I never knew it was my dream until it was here sort of by happenstance, but it’s so perfect for me. It allows me to be creative and have variety in my day, but above all it allows me to be home with my daughter and I cherish that above all.